The Gift of Food Campaign is a different kind of charity. It is run entirely by young people, 30 teenagers whose mission is "to raise money to provide food for those in need in our community. Secondly, none of the money they raise is spent on overhead. They have no administrative costs. So the $100,000 these kids have raised for the Religious Community Services Food Bank since 2001 goes directly for food purchases.
Sounds like a pretty neat group of kids, right? But there is more. On May 19, from 5-10 p.m., the Gift of Food organization is holding a concert entitled Summerfest in Largo Central Park with all proceeds benefiting an endowment fund for the RCS Food Bank. The group eventually likes to raise $20,000 for the endowment so that the interest accumulated from the fund can help support the Food bank for many years.
Religious Community Services (RCS) is a charitable organization which hopes to build a better community through "feeding the hungry, helping homeless families return to self-sufficiency, and empowering survivors of domestic violence."
RCS began its work in northern Pinellas County in 1967 and is supported by 80 Christian and Jewish congregations. The RCS Food Bank feeds about 4,000 individuals a month; approximately 1,350 of those are children.
The concert will feature a beach party atmosphere with a six member dance band called the Surf City All-Stars, including Dean Torrence from Jan and Dean (toured as vocalists for the Beach Boys), Matt Jardine (Beach Boys lead singer from 1988-1996), David Logeman (Frank Zappa's drummer), and Philip Bardowell (Beach Boys guitarist.) The opening band, The Vandellas, will offer Motown music. Tampa Bay Bounce will be there to entertain the younger children and the event will offer a car show, food and assorted vendors.
Tickets for the Summerfest concert will go on sale March 17 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. The Surf City All-Stars is donating an autographed Fender Squier Stratocaster guitar, valued at $500, which will be raffled off the evening of the concert. Raffle tickets will be sold early through RCS (443-4031.)
The event is co-sponspored by the City of Largo, Brighthouse Network, Infinity Radio, the St. Petersburg Times and Outback Steakhouse. The Eckerd Family Foundation is underwriting the cost for the evening's entertainment.
"Interest is really growing in this event, not only as a fundraiser for the RCS Food Bank, but as a great way for families to celebrate the end of the school year,": explained event coordinator Sherry Sultenfus. Anyone wishing to be a sponsor, or to volunteer for the event, may call 586-6267.
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